Dynamics Tutorial: solutions made simple….er

This isn’t intended to be a long post on everything you can do with solutions or how to set them up from scratch. This is intended to layout the method on how you use solutions to move customisations over from a Test system into a UAT organisation.

Problems that come to mind – Should it be a Managed solution/Should I overwrite/Should I merge etc.

You have a Test organisation where you will be making changes to customisations. 

You have a UAT organisation where you would like to move these changes to after testing them. 

The simplest way to start when you have two blank Organisations is to create a new Solution in the ‘Test’ organisation and this solution will be an Unmanaged solution. You can go into this and start adding your changes such as adding entities which have new fields, forms, views, customisations, JavaScript, plugins etc.

You should save and publish all customisations and then export this as a Managed Solution. 

Now take your exported solution and import it into your UAT system. Now when further changes to your solution are required, you would go back to your ‘Test’ organisation where your solution exists in an ‘Unmanaged’ state and make your changes, save & publish again, export it in a managed state and import it into your UAT and overwrite customisations so your target solution always stays up to date.

Solution states

Key points to remember!

  • A solution is a container to show the changes which you are working on or have applied
  • If you delete the unmanaged solution, the changes will still exist in the system. If you want to delete a change you would need to go into the default solution and remove that change and then go and remove it from your unmanaged solution which is going to be moved over again next time you want to import your solution (not really recommended)
  • If you are going to remove a Managed Solution you should export all of your data first to prevent data loss.
  • If you remove a Managed Solution, it will delete all changes and data permanently. If you followed the instructions above, you could then go back to your test system and change what was wrong in your unmanaged solution and export it in a managed state again ready to be imported into your UAT again.